Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Greenpeace calls for end to radioactive discharges

Greenpeace calls on the French Government to end illegal radioactive discharges

Auckland, April 28, 2000 - Greenpeace has called on the French government to immediately halt radioactive discharges from the giant La Hague nuclear reprocessing complex. The call came after a scientific sampling operation revealed that dangerous radioactive particles larger than the regulatory limit were being released into the sea off the Normandy coast.

“The particles are insoluble and will remain dangerous in the environment for hundreds of years. The fact that Cogema discharges large particles has significant implications for the potential health impacts of its discharges. It is conceivable that particles could be ingested by members of the public via seafood thus providing a relatively high radiation dose. Neither Cogema’s nor the regulatory authorities models take this effect into account,” said Greenpeace scientist Diederik Samsom.

The radioactive particles were discovered by Greenpeace divers who installed a scientific water sampler at the end of La Hague’s discharge pipe. The operation, which took place during the last week, was supervised by a legal witness (bailiff) and the analysis of the sample was under taken by an independent French Laboratory, ACRO. This latest find follows a similar operation in 1997 which also uncovered illegal highly radioactive particles in the plants discharge. (1)

The ACRO analyses shows particles with very high levels of activity including the radiotoxic elements cobalt 60 and Ruthenium 106 as well as the extremely radiotoxic Americium-241. The concentration of Co-60 in the particles (5600 Bq per gramme) is 560 times the limit for radioactive waste classification under European regulations.

“For four years the plant has being flouting its discharges authorisations by pumping highly radioactive particles into the sea. For four years the French courts and regulatory authorities have failed to take action and meet their primary duty to protect public health. This cannot be allowed to continue. In the interests of public health the French government must move immediately to end these discharges,” said Mike Townsley of Greenpeace International.

Cogema’s client countries – Australia, Germany, Japan, Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland -- must also take responsibility for the ongoing illegal discharges and demand an immediate end to the reprocessing of their spent nuclear fuel.

For Further information: Mike Townsley -- mobile +31 621 296 918; Femke Bartles – + 31 20 523 6294 or mobile +31 65 350 4729; Jean-Luc Theiry – mobile + 33 615 910 237; Jon Walter mobile ++31-653 504 731
Stills available from Greenpeace New Zealand, contact Sue Connor (09) 630 6317
Notes to Editors
(1) The results will be used in a court action by Greenpeace against the operator of the La Hague nuclear reprocessing plant, the government-owned company Cogema, for breaching its license. Cogema is currently seeking government approval for a plant expansion and an increase in radioactive discharges.

Greenpeace has been granted legal standing in the French courts, after appealing an earlier court ruling that it could not launch legal proceedings. A court hearing on the La Hague discharges was scheduled for May 2 this year but now has been delayed until sometime after the summer.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

General Assembly: Ardern Rejects Trump Call For War On Drugs

New Zealand will not be signing the United States' document calling for global action on the war on drugs, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says.

Ms Ardern is in New York for the United Nations General Assembly this week, along with about 140 other world leaders.

US President Donald Trump is kicking off his week at the UN by holding an event to promote the US document called the Global Call to Action on the World Drug Problem. More>>

 

Pay Equity: Cabinet Funds Deal For Oranga Tamariki Social Workers

The Minister said that an agreement in principle has been reached between Oranga Tamariki and the PSA on a settlement worth $114.6m over five years. More>>

ALSO:

Hunting v Pest Control: Tahr Control Needed To Protect Alpine Habitats

A cull of introduced Himalayan tahr browsing conservation land in Kā Tiritiri o Te Moana/ the Southern Alps is needed to protect special alpine plants and their habitats, Conservation Minister, Eugenie Sage said. More>>

ALSO:

Protest At Sea: Judge Discharges Greenpeace Activists

The judge today discharged Norman and Howell without conviction, saying the cumulative consequences of a conviction would be out of proportion to what was “low level” offending off the Wairarapa coast in April 2017. More>>

ALSO:

Meth Testing Report: Housing NZ "To Right Wrong"

Phil Twyford “Housing NZ acknowledges that around 800 tenants suffered by either losing their tenancies, losing their possessions, being suspended from the public housing waiting list, negative effects on their credit ratings or, in the worst cases, being made homeless.” More>>

ALSO:

No Reshuffle: Meka Whaitiri Removed As A Minister

Meka Whaitiri will be removed as a Minister with immediate effect... The decision was made after receiving a report into an incident that occurred on 27 August in Gisborne, involving Meka Whaitiri and one of her staff. More>>

ALSO:

Asylum: Refugee Quota Increasing To 1500

“The quota increase will take place from July 2020. In the meantime, we will work to increase the number and spread of refugee resettlement and support services. We need to make sure we’re prepared for this change in policy.” More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels